"The past is the past and many of us need to learn how to leave it where it belongs. We all have the right and ability to lead lives that are completely independent from the dysfunction we may have been taught as children"
Like my mother before me, I became a solo parent at age 21. Around this time I had started to become painfully aware that my life was in inexplicably hurtling down the same dead end track as hers. I seemed to be replicating her every experience, despite my considerable efforts not to. Ironically, the one thing I thought would never happen was a repeat episode of ME. Not because I possessed a magic wand, but because I was told that due to some internal damage to my reproductive organs, it was highly unlikely that I would ever have children. While a small part of me quietly died at this revelation, I was also extremely relieved that an innocent child would not suffer at my hands. Seriously. That's how messed up I was.
I won’t go into the details of how I got pregnant, but I pity the Doctor who gave me the news. My fear was debilitating and unprecedented. I had only one example of motherhood in my life, and look how that turned out! To make matters worse, I didn’t possess one tiny maternal bone in my body. This story does end well I promise, but we'll get to that in a little bit. For now I want to explore a phenomenon that many women in my position experience.
My life was turned inside out and up the right way when my daughter made her grand entrance into this world. But isn’t it like that for everyone? No matter what we tell ourselves, as soon as that baby pops out something divine takes place and we forget why we were so afraid. (Until the car ride home and then it all comes flooding back!!). The birth of my daughter had an all consuming effect on my life. For the longest time, life really didn’t mean anything to me without her. This may sound all very poetic except that its NOT, and was a very unhealthy way of living. The belief that this baby was my reason to keep living was both unfair on myself and on her. This expectation alone on her life would have given her massive psychological issues. I know this because it is exactly what transpired between my mother and I. My life was never meant to be built on, and sustained by her life. I had my own life that God had given me. Even though I had become a mother, I was still His child and He had a plan for me that went well beyond raising this child on His behalf. It was selfish and weak and love is neither of these things. There was a balance to strike and a correct way to understand my position in her life and hers in mine. Love was essential, but the kind of love she needed to grow up into the woman of God she was destined to be, was not a selfish love that placed a demand on her life. And so the work (in me) began...
My greatest fear and most intense challenge turned out to be my greatest achievement that was pivotal in helping me to grow up into the woman that I am today. I am not perfect, but I no longer see myself as being anything other than what God wants me to believe. Enough time has been wasted on believing things about myself that could not possibly be true. If it were true, then we would be shaped by every single thing we did wrong. We would even be shaped by every single thing our parents did wrong, and their parents before them. If it were true then my daughter would have a life worth of disaster ahead of her to look forward to. And I know for a fact that she doesn't. All of her days were preordained before even one of them came to be.
Today I no longer look at her as being my reason to live. Now I look at God as my reason why I am alive and why I continue to rise and shine. She is free to be whoever God has called her to be now that I have learnt how to take up the reins of my responsibility and hold them well. The fear of being an inadequate mother has also dissipated. I know that I have made mistakes and I will probably continue to stuff up every now and then but I have no truthful reason to believe that I’m only capable of raising my daughter the wrong way. The past is the past and many of us need to learn how to leave it where it belongs. We all have the right and ability to lead lives that are completely independent from the dysfunction we may have been taught as children. That is the essence of being an adult and making sound choice. It is also the gift we received when Jesus sacrificed His life for us on the cross. Every single one of us have this right, but not many of us exercise it. Every single one of us have access to this gift, but not all will receive it. What if anything, is holding you back?